Research by industry consultant Brent Grover indicates the typical distributor invests more than $150,000 before a salesperson starts generating profit for the company. Think about this: that new guy out there struggling to figure things out is burning through dollars like a forest fire. Did this get your attention?
If not, here is another tidbit that will bring tears to your eyes. A couple of months ago, I hosted a meeting of new distributor salespeople. Their common link? They all had less than 18 months of experience in the outside role. We asked which of them had any training when they hit the road. Unfortunately for most, their introduction to their new job was the same as their bosses’. “Here’s the key to the company car, there’s your territory, go forth and sell,” is still the motto. In spite of high costs and mounting financial pressures, most distributors start new salespeople off without a well-thought-out onboarding process.
One of the critical points of bringing on any new salesperson comes in setting process expectations. They start their career with you without truly understanding some of the fundamentals of how you expect to do business in the future. I believe that process is critical to efficient organization. This need not be a fancy setup, however; every good distributor has at least a few process points. Let’s explore what some of these might be.